Running can be a bit of a tedious activity. Sure, there’s something to be said for falling in love with your surroundings as you pound the pavement in your best workout gear. But more often than not, you might need something to help you push yourself a little faster. Running headphones have been essential to that process, and over the years, they’ve gotten quicker and lighter to help you do the same.
Earbuds, specifically designed to be worn while running, are a godsend for those that need some fast beats to help them along the way. Fortunately, companies have realized the inherent intensity of the activity. They have started to cut the wires, so the earbuds themselves are light and then reinforced them with water and sweatproof construction to make sure they won’t fall apart on you. Oh, and extended battery life makes it so you can keep pushing yourself.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best running earbuds for you to use on your next jog. All that’s left is for you to cue up some killer tunes and put one foot in front of the other — our picks, below.
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t Running Earbuds
Jabra’s Elite Active line of earbuds has long been the running earbuds line to beat, and their latest iteration (the 75ts) proves the reigning champ is here to stay. The angular shape of the true wireless buds sits securely in your ear when you’re in the groove. Speaking of grooving, the sound is clear and crisp, providing 7.5 hours of music on a single charge and up to a total of 28 hours with their included charging case. But most critically is the IP57 waterproofing, which will ensure no matter how sweaty you are, they’ll continue to keep working so you can continue to push it one step faster.
2. Beats Powerbeats Pro Running Earbuds
Our pick for the best runner-up (no pun intended) is Beats’ Powerbeats Pro running earbuds. Beats has been a bit maligned over the years but has strived to be better under Apple ownership. The real first indicator of success was these sport earbuds. The over-the-ear hook helps to lock the earbuds into place so you can freely move without concerns about the buds falling out, while also providing an IPX4 sweat and water resistance rating. The battery life on the Powerbeats boasts a staggering nine hours of continuous use, great to have if you’re training for a marathon or equally as long run. Plus, pairing them with an Apple device is a breeze.
3. JBL Reflect Mini 2 in-Ear Headphones
If you’re a casual runner or someone that doesn’t want to spend an arm or a leg to get a decent set of running earbuds, these buds from JBL will certainly do the trick. While they aren’t true wireless earbuds (there’s a band that tethers the two earbuds together) they are IPX5 water-resistant to ensure you can sweat it out and not have to worry about them not playing. On the audio front, one-button control lets you quickly shuffle between songs, while the battery life will last an impressive 15 hours on a single charge. And, at $33, they’re priced perfectly for those who need something to get them moving.
4. EarFun Air Running Earbuds
If you’re considering spending a bit more cash on a pair of running earbuds, the EarFun Airs (which we just reviewed in-depth here) are a great investment. The sound quality (comparable to earbuds double the cost) on these alone is well worth the price, and that’s before you take into consideration the fast charging, in-Ear detection, IPX7 waterproofing, and impressive playback time. If you want a pair of Apple AirPod-like earbuds but don’t want to pay Apple prices — these are the ones for you.
5. Amazon Echo Running Earbuds
BEST VOICE CONTROL
If you’re someone that constantly is using voice commands to power your life, investing in Amazon’s Echo EarBuds will be an inherently rewarding experience. Powered by Amazon Alexa, you can use the truly wireless earbuds to set timers to ensure you’re beating your record. Plus, the sweat-resistant earbuds provide strong support when you’re working. While the battery life is a little on the shorter end (about five hours), that is balanced by an immersive and crisp audio experience that will give you the boost of energy you need to make it over the finish line. Oh, and they’re IPX4 to protect against water splashes.
6. Bose SoundSport Free Running Earbuds
Leave it to the pros at Bose to engineer a set of running earbuds with world-class audio performance. The SoundSport Free earbuds were made to find the perfect intersection of sport and audio fidelity, making them an audiophile’s dream. While the earbuds themselves run a little large and might require some testing of the included ear tips to find that perfect fit, once you do, your perfectly curated running playlist will radiate through your ears in perfect harmony with your well-practiced running stride. The IPX4 rating ensures some resistance from sweat and water (avoid monsoons), and with five hours of playback time, you’ll be set for most long runs.
7. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Running Earbuds
Samsung’s Galaxy Bud 2 earbuds are the 2021 refresh of a new entry into the earbud space. The bean-shaped, true wireless earbuds provide all sorts of premium features like active-noise-control, improved bass, comfortable fit, and a new redesign that’s made them slimmer. Five minutes worth of charging can yield an hour’s worth of playback time. But the dynamic audio is really where it’s at, providing all sorts of quality sound for those who want it. However, these are only IPX2 water-resistant, so you’ll want to avoid wearing them in any sort of medium to heavy rain.
8. Jaybird Vista Running Earbuds
If you’re unsure of what you’re looking for and want another source to back your pick, well, Amazon’s Choice for best running earbuds is the Jaybird Vista. Fully waterproof, crushproof and sweatproof (thanks to the IPX7 rating), these truly wireless earbuds are made for those who have an active lifestyle regardless of whether or not they’re out and about running. Furthermore, the earbuds are extremely light in weight, meaning they’ll be even more comfortable without wires. Finally, a six-hour lifespan on a charge provides you with plenty of activity time to crush that run.
9. Sony WF-1000XM4 Running Earbuds
If you’ve already got a good pair of running earbuds but want to upgrade to something great, the Sony WF-1000XM4 running earbuds are worth the switch. We’ve covered these on the site before, but you’re getting really fantastic noise-canceling powers in a comfortable set of truly wireless earbuds that are capable of lasting a really, really long time. With a great sound and IPX4 sweat and water-resistant rating, you can tune out all the noise and just focus on making your run the best it can be every single time.
10. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3100 Running Earbuds
BEST FOR LONG RUNS
If you’re the kind of runner that enjoys doing a 10 miler for breakfast, these running earbuds from Plantronics are for you. The BackBeat FIT 3100 lets a bit of ambient noise in so you can hear your surroundings a bit more. It’s the perfect balance of letting in the world around you a bit, while still making sure you can have your tunes to power you along on an extended trip. With a flexible and secure fit, sweatproof and waterproof construction (thanks to its IP57 rating), and fast charging time, you’ll be set to keep putting one foot in front of the other for hours.
11. Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport Running Earbuds
If you’ve got some extra dough to spend, the true wireless earbuds from Master & Dynamic are well worth their price. With Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, you’ll have a secure connection (up to 100 feet) that won’t drop out when using them. Designed to be used in active situations, there’s an included transparency mode that allows you to hear noise when you need to do so. Additionally, the MW08 sport includes 12 hours of playback time and IPX5 water resistance.
12. Bose SportSound Wireless Earbuds
Keeping up with both individual earbuds can be a hassle. This is why we totally understand why some folks prefer wired headphones like these Bose SportSound Earbuds. While there is a wire between the two earbuds themselves, these are otherwise wireless headphones that pair to your device via Bluetooth. Boasting a six-hour battery life, you’ll have plenty of time to make it through multiple workouts without needing a charge. Additionally, the IPX4 rating ensures they’ll keep going if you get caught in some rain.
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